Above and around the valley of Vathys
From the western end of Platanos, the road leads to Metochi; from here, a new track to the north leads up the mountain-side to the fortified, 18th century monastery of Panaghia Kyra Psili. (When the track reaches the watershed at the chapel of Stavros, a signed foot-path to the right leads on up to the church.) The dramatically-sited monastery is a votive gift made by a native of the island, who converted to Islam and served as a high official in the Ottoman administration; when a fleet of ships under his management was miraculously rescued from a storm by the intervention of the Virgin, he dedicated and built this monastery on what was probably the site of an earlier hermitage (and of even earlier pagan cult) inside the grottoes where the chapels within the walls now stand. Its hidden and fortified location served as a refuge for the inhabitants of the valley in times of danger.
From Stavros the pathway to the northeast leads (45 mins each way) down to the island’s north shore at the wild and solitary inlet of Pezonda. Along the ridge, to the west of Stavros, at a point where it projects south over the valley in a natural ‘acropolis’, is a site known as Kastellas: the settlement here, marked by large blocks of collapsed masonry, seems to have been continuously used through the Geometric, Archaic and Classical periods. Jewellery, bronze arrow-heads, coins, and glass vessels have recently been found here.
On leaving the village of Metochi, this time to the west, the road passes (left) the cemetery church of Aghios Theodoros, which has 16th century wall-paintings in its interior. From here, a wide unpaved track leads further west towards Stimenia at the head of the valley, from where it continues (currently under construction) over the bare mountain landscape to the bay of Arginontas on the island’s west coast: the old mule-path, which generally follows the lines of the electricity cables west from the northern end of Metochi, covers the same distance in a tough, but panoramic, two hour-walk.
Kalymnos Island is part of the Dodecanese Island group
Pothia, the Vathys Valley, and the south of the island. Above and around the valley of Vathys.